September, 2023: Pope Francis' two trips and the creation of 21 new cardinals

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The month of September began with Pope Francis' trip to Mongolia, where he stayed from August 31 to September 4. It was an important visit, as he became the first pope to set foot on Mongolian soil that has a strategic location between Russia and China.

There, Pope Francis presided at a Mass with the small Catholic community as well as two Chinese bishops. This was a significant gesture considering the delicate relations between China and the Holy See.

These two brother bishops: the Emeritus Bishop of Hong Kong and the current Bishop of Hong Kong. I would like to take advantage of their presence to send warm greetings to the noble Chinese people. To all the people, I wish you all the best and may you continue to move forward. Progress always. And to the Chinese Catholics, I ask you to be good Christians and good citizens.

After his return from Mongolia, the Pope met with an actor from movies he used to watch. It was Sylvester Stallone, the star of the famous Rocky Balboa movies.

Later in the month, the Pope embarked on yet another trip, but this time he did not leave Europe. He went to Marseille, France to participate in the Mediterranean Meetings and discuss social challenges facing the Church. There, he spoke mainly about immigration.

But those who risk their lives at sea do not invade, they seek shelter, they seek life.
Let us commit ourselves so that those who are part of society become its full citizens. There is a cry of pain that resounds above all, and that is transforming the “mare nostrum” into “mare mortuum”—the Mediterranean, from the cradle of civilization to the tomb of dignity.

Pope Francis ended the month with the Consistory on September 30. He created 21 new cardinals, hailing from 15 different countries and more than half non-European. The Pope explained why the universality of the College of Cardinals matters to him.

The faith is transmitted "in dialect"—do not forget it. Faith is transmitted in dialect, that is, through mothers and grandmothers. In fact, we are evangelizers to the extent that we keep in our hearts the wonder and gratitude of having been evangelized.

Of the 21 cardinals, only 18 will be able to vote in the event of a conclave as they are under the age of 80.


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